The 2020 Kentucky Derby: An Expensive Group of Blue Bloods

August 27, 2020

The Kentucky Derby is famous for having horses that come from “anywhere,” such as when it only cost California Chrome’s owners $1,500 to breed him, while Fusaichi Pegasus was a $4 million yearling. The prospective field for the 2020 Kentucky Derby trends towards expensive blue blood types rather than fairytale, miracle horses.

Tiz the Law: The son of Constitution is expected to be a heavy favorite after dominating wins in the Florida Derby (G1), Belmont Stakes (G1), and Runhappy Travers Stakes (G1). His dam is the Tiznow mare Tizfiz, a Grade 2 winner at Santa Anita who once ran against the boys in the Fayette Stakes (G2) at Keeneland where she finished sixth behind Blame. She also won stakes races at Turf Paradise, Mountaineer, and Remington Park, then produced multiple stakes placed Awestruck before Tiz the Law, who cost $110,000 as a yearling.

Honor A. P.: This $850,000 yearling purchase is by $2.5 million earner Honor Code, who is one of three stallions to have two runners slated for the Kentucky Derby this year. Dam Hollywood Story was a dual Grade 1 winning millionaire who ran in the Breeders’ Cup four times in her career who went on to throw stakes placed Hoorayforhollywood, now a stallion in California, Grade 2 placed Hollywood Star, and Gulfstream Park stakes winner Miss Hollywood.

Enforceable: He boasts possibly the best pedigree in the lot, and was an RNA at $775,000 at the 2018 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. The son of Tapit is the latest foal out of multiple graded stakes winner Justwhistledixie, who took a pair of Grade 2 races at Gulfstream Park in 2009 while riding a five-race win streak. She was Grade 1 placed at Belmont Park before retirement, and went on to throw Grade 2 winner Mohaymen, who was just dollars short of $1 million in earnings, Grade 3 winner Kingly, and New Year’s Day, who took the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) in 2013. He is probably more famous as the sire of Maximum Security.

Shirl’s Speight: This is a homebred by Speightstown and out of Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) winner Perfect Shirl. She earned over $1.3 million and was also a Grade 2 winner at Saratoga in her day. She hails from a royal bloodline with her dam Lady Shirl earning just short of $1 million and being a Grade 1 winner in her day. Lady Shirl’s other runners include millionaire Shakespeare, Grade 2 winner Lady Shakespeare, and stakes winner Fantastic Shirl.

Art Collector: Fourth beaten just a length in Perfect Shirl’s Breeders’ Cup win was Distorted Legacy, dam of Art Collector (Bernardini). Distorted Legacy kicked off her stakes career winning the Sky Beauty at Belmont Park before running second in the Grade 1 Flower Bowl.

Thousand Words: This was a $1 million yearling purchase by Pioneerof the Nile. Multiple graded stakes winning dam Pomeroys Pistol was fourth in the 2011 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Sprint after being dual Grade 1 placed on the year. In that 2011 season, she won the Forward Gal (G2) at Gulfstream, the Just Smashing Stakes at Monmouth Park, and ran second in both the Prioress (G1) and Test Stakes (G1) before winning the Gallant Bloom (G2).

Caracaro: Sold for $95,000 as a weanling, the son of Uncle Mo was most recently seen running second in the Travers Stakes behind Tiz the Law. His dam Peace Time was a well-regarded sort, selling for $600,000 as a yearling before running third in her debut as the heavy favorite. She never ran again, but she is a daughter of War Front and the Grade 2 winner Santa Catarina, who was third in the 2002 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).

Dr Post: This $200,000 weanling purchase became a $400,000 yearling pinhook. The son of Quality Road is out of graded stakes winner Mary Delaney, who took the Grade 2 Vinery Madison at Keeneland in 2007. She sold for $850,000 as a broodmare in 2009 while in foal to Elusive Quality.

King Guillermo cost $150,000 as a juvenile, while Authentic brought $350,000 as a yearling. Max Player’s dam Fools in Love was a stakes winner at Delta Downs who later brought $1 million as a broodmare prospect at Keeneland in 2017. Attachment Rate brought $200,000 as a yearling, while Necker Island cost $250,000.

On the cheaper end of things, Winning Impression was a $77,000 two-year-old, Rushie cost $70,000 and Ny Traffic was just $27,000. Sole Volante cost $6,000 as a yearling but was a $20,000 juvenile sales buy. Storm the Court was a $5,000 weanling who cost $60,000 as a two-year-old and has gone on to earn over $1.3 million. Major Fed is a homebred out of a dam that cost $50,000 as a yearling.

Contributing Authors

Emily Shields

Emily Shields knew by age 10 that she wanted to work in horse racing, and has dedicated her life to pursuing that dream. The Arizona-born...

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